The robotic dog that can open doors

Boston Dynamics  YouTube screengrab

Engineering and robotics design firm Boston Dynamics has once again released new footage of one of their robots performing an ordinary but surprisingly unnerving everyday task - in this case, opening a door.

If the company managed to program Spot Mini to actually open the door on its own in order to help free its friend, well, perhaps it's time to be concerned.

What we find especially exciting about this news isn't the impressive programming necessary to make the claw arm physically open a door; it's that the robots are trained to recognize doors and door handles.

Boston Dynamics claim it's the quietest robot it's ever built. They showed Boston Dynamics - still based in Boston, far from Alphabet's Silicon Valley headquarters - being told that Alphabet was no longer happy to spend resources on the company's long-term research. The arm seen reaching for the door is created to pick up and handle objects using perception sensors. It's incredible, yes, but not the most incredible thing we've seen come out of Boston Dynamics.

SpotMini is electrically actuated, has a 3D vision system, and 17 joints altogether.

In the firm's previous video, the robot is shown walking out of the firm's headquarters and into what appears to be a home.

It also comes equipped with stereo cameras, depth cameras and position/force sensors in its limbs, which "help with navigation and mobile manipulation". This is the polar opposite of some of the other brutal looking robots Boston Dynamics has previously shown-off that look like the could be the harbingers of a mechanical apocalypse. You can view the older model in the 2016 video shown below. The company didn't immediately return a request for comment from HuffPost on the subject on Tuesday.

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